Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats


WTLLIA3L  TOZST  HTTMBOLDT.
CHAPTER III.
first period of Ms happy matrimonial existence,
Humboldt spent on the beautiful estate of Burgorner,
which, with the adjoining spot, Siersleben? had been,
the property Q Caroline von Humboldt's mother.
It is situated in the duchy of Mansfeldt, halfway
between Ascherelsben and Eisleben.
Humboldt^s first care was to renew his interrupted
intercourse with his old friends, and he stated to most
of them the reasons which had induced Mm to retire
from, all public life. "We give an extract from one of
his letters., as it will give the best description of Ms
life at this period. It is to G. Forster> and is dated
the 16th August. After apologizing for his long
silence, he says :
cc I have now absolved myself from all business,, left
Berlin, married., and live, in the country, an Inde-
pendent, freely chosen, infinitely happy life. I feel
this doubly in telling it you, Jfor I know your warm.
affectionate heart, and your tender sympathy. I do
not fear from you such disapprobation of my step as
I met with from many others. You esteem liberty
and independent activity too highly to expect much
utility from a man only dependent on his official
position., and I hope you know" that I should never
choose any other than one in which I can expect to
cultivate my own attainments and character. Indeed,
dear friend, the impossibility of doing this wa% the
principal persuasive which told me to choose another
course. The axiom that nothing on earth is so im-
portant as the highest power, and most varied culti-
vation of the individual, and that., therefore, the